December 2, 2018 - 12:00 AM

An Advent Message from the Dean

Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island, spent his childhood in Edinburgh, Scotland. As a boy in the 19th century, Robert was intrigued by the work of the old lamplighters who went about with a ladder and a torch, setting the street lights ablaze for the night.

One evening, as young Robert stood watching with fascination, his parents asked him, “Robert, what in the world are you looking at out there?” With great excitement he exclaimed, “Look at that man! He’s punching holes in the darkness!”

There is plenty of darkness in our our time – the darkness of poverty, illness, hunger, violence, prejudice, hatred, homelessness. The Christmas message is that holes can be punched in the darkness to let the light in. Jesus Christ came to punch holes in the darkness of the world’s suffering and pain and to punch holes in indifference to the hurt of the world and its people – in order to let the light of a divine love shine through.

That is the very light of Christmas that Phillips Brooks points to in his hymn, “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” Brooks writes, “...yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light; the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” (The Hymnal 1982, #79)

I pray that this celebration of Christmas music punches holes in the darkness for you, and lets the light of Christmas cheer and joy shine through in your life for all to see.

For in the light of Christmas joy, the world can be merry in Him. A blessed Christmas season to all!


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